Week 27: Sharing space

By Published On: June 24th, 2013

Here at the Palmer house, I always have some home […]

0806aim-image3Here at the Palmer house, I always have some home improvement project underway—and at least two or three dozen more ideas on my future to-do list. Lately, at least a handful of these projects have centered around a single room in our house: the nursery.
When Jacob was born, we were still in our tiny, one-bedroom apartment. His “nursery” was a corner of our room that was barely big enough to house his crib. When he was three weeks old, we bought our first home, and by the time he was eight months old, his room was finally complete.
Now, with Vivian Jayne on the way, I’ve been mulling over what to do about their rooming situation over the past few weeks. With three bedrooms in our house, one could technically become a nursery—if, say, we were normal people with once-a-month guests. But, with Tom being a youth pastor, our house is party central for overnight guests a few nights a week.
Despite this, I considered converting the guest room over to a nursery and making up pallets in the living room whenever have folks over. Then, my sanity kicked in, and I realized the constant set-up and tear-down would get old quick.
So, my most recent plan is to have Jacob and baby girl share a room once she is old enough to make the transition from our room into her own space. Sharing this news with friends, I’ve gotten everything from raised eyebrows and a “Wow, good luck with that!” to “Good for you!”
Part of me thinks both reactions are right. I can imagine that we’ll need all the luck we can get trying to keep a light-sleeping toddler down through the cries and feedings of a baby. But, on the other hand, I figure we can all suck it up. After all, for thousands of years, entire families shared a single room—and more than likely, a single room with dirt floors and a couple of beds for 10 kids—and they managed to grow up healthy, happy, and probably far less spoiled (though possibly more sleep-deprived) than our generation.
Plus, I loved the idea of siblings sharing a space. With separate rooms, kids might not have as much conflict, but they also won’t get the great learning experience and bonding that comes with rooming together.
Sharing a room with my sister growing up, I remember having to work through personal tidiness issues (she was a neat-freak, I was a slob) and privacy issues (where, oh, where to hide the diary?!), among a million other things. It wasn’t always fun for us (or our parents, I’m sure), but we also now have the fun memories of staying up late and reading under the covers or talking about who-knows-what until all hours of the night.
With Jacob and Vivian Jayne, I know that having them share a room won’t be easy, but I think in the long-run it will be worthwhile. I’m excited to see how it will all play out and the closeness that will develop between them. And, I’m even more excited to makeover our little guy’s nursery so it’s suitable to share with baby sister.
Let the Pinterest-ing begin!